Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels barely qualified for — and then just missed — a $100,000 bonus written into his contract for leading the league in punt return average.
Sherels, who missed five games due to rib, ankle and wrist injuries, entered Sunday afternoon with the lead at 13.9 yards per punt return on 21 attempts. Sherels needed at least 20 attempts on the season to qualify for the bonus.
That is until Chiefs returner Tyreek Hill took his lone attempt back for a 95-yard touchdown against San Diego, vaulting him ahead to a 15.2-yard average on the season. Sherels, the 29-year-old Gophers product, ranked as the league’s second-best punt returner for the second time in his career.
Undrafted in 2010, Sherels has finished as a top-10 punt returner in three of the last four seasons. He ranked 12th two years ago.
Sherels is due a $1.95 million salary in 2017, a contract year. He has the chance to earn the same $100,000 bonus next season.